Future Business Leaders Group Drums Up Record Number of Recruit

Astors and Rockefellers, beware! A junior core of capitalists is being groomed to be the next generation of competition, with membership in the Future Business Leaders of America at an all-time high.

"The whole swing of the country is toward entrepreneurship these days," said Kathleen Burakowski, membership director of the high school-oriented FBLA and its college affiliate, Phi Beta Lambda Inc, both founded in 1945. "Kids are definitely more aggressive these days because they know there is a lot of competition once they get out there," she added.

FBLA membership hit a record level of 198,000 as of June 1, up from 183,000 last June, according to FBLA statistics.

The group, which is endorsed by the Department of Education, provides a link between business and education through seminars, reading material and yearly competitions. Its quarterly magazine, Tomorrow's Business Leader, frequently refers to the free enterprise system and the "golden land of opportunity," and encourages its members to compete to become "Ms. or Mr. Future Business Leader." Titles are earned by winning regional, state and national competitions in such categories as interviewing techniques, public speaking, parliamentary procedure, and computer and typing skills.

Virginia has the most FBLA members in the Washington area with more than 18,000, followed by Maryland with 2,700 and the District with 50. Burakowski attributed Virginia's sizable number to strong promotional support from the state. Culpeper County High School in Culpeper, Va., boasts one of the state's largest chapters, with 150 members. Barbara Kinsey, the group's chapter adviser, was Culpeper High's chapter president almost 26 years and credited the FBLA, in part, with her decision to go to college and major in business. Now she is a business and typing teacher at Culpeper and a strong advocate of using FBLA as a supplement to business courses. "There are some things that students don't get from regular business courses," she said. Culpeper will send one student to the national competition for the Mr. Future Business Leader title June 26-29 in Washington.

Cindy Mason, a 17-year-old graduating senior and co-president of this year's FBLA chapter at Langley High School in Fairfax, is working her first 9-to-5 job this summer as a clerk/secretary at Advertising Dynamics in Vienna. She said her FBLA affiliation already has helped her in the "real world" because her boss noted her involvement in FBLA in the interview, saying that he, too, had been an FBLA member. Mason, who will attend the University of Alabama in the fall, said she decided to major in advertising and public relations after working as an FBLA representative with the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce on a public relations project.

FBLA membership is open to students ages 12 and up for $4 annually. Membership is limited to students enrolled in a business class, and schools interested in starting their own chapter must find a teacher to volunteer as an adviser. There are 10,000 chartered FBLA chapters in the United States, including American Samoa, Canal Zone, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American schools in Europe. TRADE

A D.C. lawyer has been selected as president of the American Insurance Association. Robert E. Vagley of Preston, Thorgrimson, Elllis and Holman takes over the presidency from T. Lawrence Jones, who stepped down after 19 years to join the Washington law firm of Hunton & Williams.

The American Association of Museums in Washington has appointed the former executive vice president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Edward Able, as its executive director. The 2,000-member group includes zoos, botanical gardens and museums of art, history and science. Able also will oversee the group's legislative program, which monitors federal funding and policies that concern the museum community.

The National Association of Convenience Stores has created a new position and hired Carol L. Thompson, formerly with the National Beer Wholesalers Association, to fill it. Thompson will be the new meetings and planning assistant for NACS, working under Nancy King, the group's vice president of expositions and meetings.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has hired Joel Solkoff, a former speech writer and private consultant, as senior press officer in its public affairs division. Solkoff has worked for such clients as GTE Corp. and the Securities and Exchange Commission. PROFESSIONAL

Members of the Maryland Bankers Association elected Courtney R. Tusing president at the group's annual convention in May. Tusing is chairman of the board of First United National Bank and Trust in Oakland, Md.